Many people are familiar with the massive success that the internet currency Bitcoin has been enjoying since they first debuted a few years ago. Many economists have speculated that Bitcoin will become a new player in world currency and may even become the first international currency that is universally recognized in every country. However, being able to buy Bitcoins and transfer them into your digital wallet for spending has been a tedious task to say the least and requires knowledge and effort that many consumers simply don’t possess.In an effort to make Bitcoins more acceptable and widely-used in the American economy, a company named Robocoin has developed Bitcoin ATMs and is opening their first one in the USA in late February of 2014. Essentially, you can just walk up to the ATM, transfer US dollars into Bitcoins, and transfer them directly into your digital wallet for easy spending. People who own Bitcoins already will be able to put them up for sale on the ATM to create the first all-in-one marketplace where you can buy and sell Bitcoins for any other form of US currency. Robocoin already has Bitcoin ATMs in Vancouver and has shipped them to Asia, though many Asian countries outlawed them briefly until just recently.
A local tavern in Austin, Texas, will be the home to the company’s first ATM. Predominately located at the front of the bar; visitors will not have a tough time finding the Bitcoin ATM and becoming exposed to the concept for the first time at a tavern called the HandleBar. Robocoin has also announced even more expansion within the US and Canada to debut soon with machines opening in Seattle and Alberta. With every new location they open, Robocoin expects the demand for their Bitcoin ATMs to increase.
Though Robocoin is constantly expanding and trying to grab a larger portion of the market, many have criticized their slow rate of growth. The company has shrugged off these complaints and state that the company is growing at a rapid pace and is scaling their infrastructure accordingly as they increase in size. A “slow and steady” approach has always proved successful for startups to avoid security issues and service outages that have plagued many companies that try to overexpose themselves way too soon.
Additionally, there are a few hoops that businesses need to jump through in order to legally have a Bitcoin ATM at their location. Each business is currently required to apply for and receive a Money Transmitter License (MTL) or to register as a Money Service Business (MSB) to be 100% legal. While this seems like a bit of a hassle for businesses, the Bitcoin ATMs focus in on the key demographic of adults age 18-40. Robocoin also believes that the United States and other governments will work alongside the Bitcoin currency to make the laws easier to buy and sell the internet currency that is changing the way people think about money.